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Pirates Attack and Board UK Ship But Fail to Hijack It

On Monday Somali pirates fired upon and boarded a UK-flagged chemical tanker in the North Arabian Sea, but failed to hijack the ship.

The CPO CHINA notified Combined Maritime Forces that she was under attack around 1:45 p.m. local time. The ship communications indicated that the vessel was fired upon by several skiffs while underway and had been boarded.

The ship’s captain reportedly ordered his crew into the citadel from where they could securely maintain control of the ship.

Nearby Australian frigate, the HMAS Melbourne, responded to the distress call and launched her helicopter. With the captain maintaining control of the vessel and the presence of the HMAS Melbourne the pirates abandoned the ship. A team from the Australian frigate boarded the CPO CHINA to make sure it was safe for the crew to leave the citadel.

This latest attack by Somali pirates took place 365 miles southeast of Salalah in Oman, further indicating the growing reach of Somali pirates. The pirates are more frequently using the larger hijacked vessels as motherships to launch their attack skiffs from, allowing them to venture farther out to sea.